Expansion of Pharmaceutical Business Initiatives:
Development of a Novel Antimalarial Drug Utilizing the Funding Program of the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)

Dec. 14, 2023
Marubeni Corporation

Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) will participate in the development project*1 of a new antimalarial drug (hereinafter, “this project”) promoted by Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter, “Fosun Pharma”), Medicines for Malaria Venture (hereinafter, “MMV”), and Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (hereinafter, “MORU”).

Malaria, which is spread by mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles carrying the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, is known as one of the three major infectious diseases in the world. The disease sickens approximately 250 million people is considered the cause of death for over 600,000 people*2 annually. In recent years, there has been an increase in the spread of Plasmodium falciparum, which is resistant to conventional antimalarial drugs*3, in the Mekong and African regions, where it has become a significant social issue.

Against this backdrop, Marubeni, together with its partner companies, has decided to engage in the development of a new antimalarial drug*4 effective against Plasmodium falciparum utilizing the malaria treatment drug development funding program supported by the GHIT Fund. Marubeni will promote the smooth implementation of this project by managing operations from a project management perspective.

Marubeni regards its pharmaceutical business as a next-generation business needed in countries around the world, and while promoting overseas pharmaceutical sales promotion projects, it is also engaged in the development of new antibacterial drugs in China*5. Through this project, Marubeni will deepen its understanding of drug development, aim for further business expansion, and contribute to the health and living standards of people worldwide by increasing treatment options for patients suffering from various diseases.

*1 Project name: “Evaluation and preparation for the introduction of a fixed-dose combination of artemether-lumefantrine-amodiaquine (three existing antimalarial drugs already developed, marketed and sold) to combat the resistance of tropical malaria parasites to conventional antimalarial drugs”
*2 Source: WHO World malaria report 2022
*3 Combination of an artemisinin derivative with one antimalarial drug (artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT)) 
*4 Combination of an artemisinin derivative with two antimalarial drugs (triple artemisinin-based combination therapy (TACT))
*5 Apr. 26, 2023
Expansion of Pharmaceutical Business Initiatives: Clinical Trial for a Novel β-lactamase Inhibitor in China 

GHIT Fund Overview
Company name: The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund
Representative: CEO and Executive Director Osamu Kunii
Establishment: November 2012
Address: Minato-ku, Tokyo
Business: A public-private fund established by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and pharmaceutical companies to promote product development of therapeutic drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic drugs for infectious diseases for developing countries.
Website: https://www.ghitfund.org/en
Fosun Pharma Overview
Company name: Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd
Representative: Chairman Wu Yifang
Establishment: 1994
Address: Shanghai, China
Business: Pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics, medical and health services, etc.
Website: https://www.fosunpharma.com/en/
MMV Overview
Company name: Medicines for Malaria Venture
Representative: CEO Dr. David Reddy
Establishment: 1999
Address: Geneva, Switzerland
Business: MMV is a leading product development partnership (PDP) in the field of antimalarial drug research and development. Its mission is to reduce the burden of malaria in disease-endemic countries by discovering, developing and facilitating delivery of new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs. 
Website: https://www.mmv.org/
MORU Overview
Company name: Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit
Representative: Director Nicholas Day
Establishment: 1979
Major shareholders: Mahidol University (Thailand), Oxford University (UK), Wellcome Trust (UK)
Address: Bangkok, Thailand
Business: Collection of public health information, clinical development
Website: https://www.tropmedres.ac